How to Stop Drains Smelling


One of the most embarrassing parts of home life is when the drains in your house start to smell. Unfortunately, this can happen even if you are careful about what goes down them. Many people quickly learn that they need professional help to get rid of the problem. Even then, it’s not long before the drain smells again. However, there are ways you can reduce smells in your home without spending lots of money on professional assistance, and most only take a few minutes of your time to set up. In this article, I will discuss how to stop drains smelling. So let us get started.

How to Stop Drains Smelling

What Causes Drains to Smell?

It is not uncommon to notice a smell coming from your kitchen or bathroom drain. Many people blame this on the tiny creatures that live in the water and soil of our garden, but these are entirely different smells. Gutters often have an organic odor attributed to hair, soap scum, food scraps, bacteria and dead skin cells. While drains do need some decomposing material to work correctly, too much of anything could result in a blockage further down the pipe resulting in back-ups or, worse yet, sewer problems.

Suppose you have come home recently to find sewage bubbling up through your toilet water. In that case, it means there has been a sudden increase of organic material being flushed down your drains which have accumulated at some point and created a sewage blockage.

The smell from your drain can also be caused by water stagnating inside the pipework; this is known as Hydrogen Sulphide or H2S. This gas can be extremely hazardous to your health and needs to be treated with caution. Not only does it smell like rotten eggs, but prolonged exposure to this gas could cause eye and respiratory problems, headaches, and even brain damage.

Hydrogen sulfide is often found in areas where water has stagnated, so it can be a drain problem that needs to be treated immediately.

A Detailed Stepwsie Guide on How to Stop Drains Smelling:

Some drains smell worse than others. If the drain is very smelly, there are some things you can do to reduce or eliminate this unpleasant odor. You should be able to remove unpleasant odors from your home without too much expense or effort.

1.Keep Drains Clean & Clear

The first step in getting rid of bad smells from a drain is to clog up the offending matter that does not allow free-flowing water. Use a plunger on any drains where standing water has accumulated, but make sure to use it correctly. Otherwise, you might worsen the problem by pushing more material further down the pipes instead of clearing it out! For best results, pour one cup of baking soda into the drain before plunging. Then, pour a kettle full of boiling water down the drain. Do this two or three times to ensure any standing water has been flushed through and out of the system.

Keep Drains Clean & Clear


There are plenty of commercial products available at most grocery stores that will kill foul odors in your drains when poured into them—these work by killing bacteria which often contribute to unpleasant smells coming from plumbing fixtures. You might also want to try vinegar or lemon juice in combination with baking soda if you don’t wish to purchase a commercial product for use in your home. Not only do these chemical cleaners kill foul odors in drains, but they also keep them smelling nicer and cleaner between clogs and flushes. It’s probably best to avoid bleach in favor of something else since it can damage pipes. It’s also not very environmentally friendly so try to use green products that work just as well or better than their chemical counterparts!


Vinegar has some exciting properties that make it an excellent deodorizing tool for various purposes. If you’ve tried all the above with little success, try pouring vinegar into your drains once every week for several weeks until the bad smells dissipate. You might need to run more than one cup of vinegar into each drain if the problem is especially severe. This method often works well for loosening clogs that accumulate with hair and soap scum over time.

4.Replace Pipes & Clean Fixtures

If none of the above methods work, you might need to replace some of your plumbing fixtures or even drains. It’s possible that your plumbing is compromised in places, allowing bad smells to seep out through cracks and holes. If you’ve done all you can on your own and still smell something unpleasant coming from the drain during flushes, it’s probably time for new pipes.

Replace Pipes & Clean Fixtures

5.Exterior Drains

One final method for getting rid of bad smells emanating from exterior drains is to put a screen over them so that leaves, bugs, and other debris cannot accumulate inside them or fall into them. The bugs will die if they land in water that has sat too long without draining away, becoming trapped there plant matter or other blockages. Cleaning out plugs like this can help prevent bad smells from developing.

6.Learn to Prevent Drain Smells

If you use the methods above but still notice foul smells coming from your drains, take some time to examine what might be causing these. Then, you can figure out how to avoid those situations in the future and prevent the drain smells from developing. Of course, if everything goes as planned, our drain will never stink.

7.Install a Sink Basket Strainer

A sink basket strainer is an inexpensive plumbing accessory that goes over your kitchen or bathroom sink drain and holds back food matter, so it doesn’t clog up and cause water overflow. This method is beneficial if you tend to leave lots of food particles on plates after washing them! In addition, the use of filters on drains reduces the likelihood of bad smells developing due to food wastes attracting bugs.

8.Use Drain Covers & Grates

You can also use drain covers and grates if your drains don’t already have them installed. These act like sink basket strainers but cover the entire drain opening just beneath the sink, trapping any water that flows into it before becoming contaminated with debris on the floor. If you know for sure there are no holes or cracks in your plumbing, leaving room for bad smells to escape, then this method should work well enough to prevent some problems with malodors coming from sinks.

9.Fix Any Leaky Fixtures Quickly!

If you notice wetness around your fixtures, especially under the kitchen or bathroom sink, take a few minutes to fix the problem. If water accumulates on the floor underneath a leaky fixture, it could start smelling bad as bacteria and mold develop there. You can often solve this problem by resealing a loose pipe under the sink or tightening a slightly-loose faucet so that it sits more firmly on its mount.

10.Replace Ugly Vent Covers

You might also consider replacing old vents with new ones if they are very unsightly looking. Vent covers come in all shapes and sizes now, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding some that will look good in any bathroom or kitchen. The shape of your vents has nothing to do with whether they work well but everything to do with how good they look! Make sure they don’t have cracks or holes that could negatively affect the environment inside your home.

Replace Ugly Vent Covers

11.Avoid Foul-Smelling Foods

Some foods can make drains stink even more than usual if disposed of down your kitchen sink drain, so it’s best to avoid these items as much as possible, especially grease and other fats. Grease clogs up sinks quite quickly, so be very careful with how you dispose of oil, sauces, butter, salad dressings, etc., all of which contain lard or some other form of grease. Even though bad smells arise from cooking oils and fats used in culinary applications, it is recommended that they should never enter through the drain but continuously be poured into a container first then thrown away once it has cooled off.


I hope this article has offered all the necessary instructions on how to stop drains smelling. Follow all the steps correctly. Thank you and have a nice day!

Angela Ervin

Angela Ervin

Angela is the executive editor of DIY quickly. She began her career as an interior designer before applying her strategic and creative passion to lifestyle and home. She has close to 15 years of experience in creative writing and online content strategy for housekeeping, home decorations as well as other niche efforts. She loves her job and has the privilege of working with an extraordinary team. She lives with her husband, two sons, and daughter in Petersburg. When she's not busy working she spent time with her family.

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